Editor's Note: This blog is part of a series Flappr's Way-Too-Early NFL Predictions for 2022 Season. To read our previews for the other divisions in the NFL click on the corresponding link: AFC North - AFC West - NFC East - NFC North (more to come).
In my decades of Dolphins fandom, the team has never won anything meaningful. Lauren Tannehill leaving an AR-15 in a rental car was the most joy I have experienced as a fan. For a decade, Chad Pennington was their only decent quarterback. They can’t even cheat effectively. Yet every damn August I feel the optimism of a mentally challenged kid on Christmas morning.
But this year is different! They are going to the playoffs, and winning a game! They have righted all their wrongs. Brian Flores is now an assistant coach at Bishop Sycamore. They no longer have two OCs. They shipped deviant DeVante Parker to New England as he would have been the fourth best wide receiver. They added an elite LT and another solid starter, and kept the rest of their offensive line. Hill, Waddle, and Cedric Wilson are a top wide receiving trio in the NFL.
The backs are unremarkable but improved. The entire defense is back along with the addition of a couple decent veterans. The defense should be less scheme focused and gimmicky, and more focused and their excellent defensive line and secondary talent. The Dolphins were 10-6 in 2020, and 9-8 in 2021, despite a completely dysfunctional coaching staff.
Tua needs to stay healthy and make less mistakes, and they need to improvement on the offensive line, but I predict playoffs and a postseason win this year.
Prediction: 11-6, playoff win
The Bills were the most talented NFL roster last year, but failed to win it all again. They are the most talented team again this year, but will losing Brian Dabol as their OC harm their offense? The offense doesn’t really have anywhere to go but down at this point and reversion to the mean seems possible. Evidently Dabol thought head coach Sean McDermott is an obstinate prick and he wasn’t going to return to Buffalo had he not received a head coaching job himself. So I think the offense will take a step back now they have an OC submissive to Dabol.
The starters on the Bills are elite, but the depth is underwhelming, and a few injuries could really sink the ship.
The Bills window for winning it all is getting shorter each year. Hard to imagine them still having the best roster in the NFL in a year from now. They are Vegas favorites to win it all, but I wouldn’t bet on them at these odds.
Regardless their fans are disgusting.
Imagine living in Buffalo, the bathroom stall blowjob capital of the world.
Prediction: 12-5, loss in the AFC Championship game
New England Patriots
The Patriots roster is trash. Hasn’t been great for a while. Is this the year it finally catches up?
The Pats don’t have an OC. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, and their combined 69 brain cells, are running the offense this year now that McDaniels is gone.
They don’t have a DC.
They have Steven & Brian Belichick and some other clowns at the helm of the defense. Tua’s backup at Alabama, Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones, had a great rookie season, but is his ceiling any higher?
I don’t think so.
The team needs to start out strong, but with the new offensive coaching personnel and many reports of abject dysfunction thus far, this seems like the year for regression. Are they really going to rely on DeVante Parker to catch passes? Probably, they don’t have any other good wide receivers. But he is washed, and was last in the league in separation last year.
Try naming three defensive players on the Patriots, I dare you.
I am much more optimistic of the Pats next season than this year, the roster is just not very good.
New York Jets
The Jets won the offseason! Not really, they drafted players high on mock draft boards. Zach Wilson is a walking penis who seems mostly focused on sowing his oats while still in his sexual prime, and who can blame him?
But last year he was unfathomably awful at football. So if he could be an average QB the Jets will be much improved. But I’m not buying that he will improve.
His ceiling seems to be as a backup.
The Jets will struggle against the AFC East, and may not win a game in the division. Wilson is already hurt for three games it seems (including a game to Miami) and Becton is out for the season. Robert Saleh has not yet proven he can put out a respectable defense as a head coach, and this may be his last chance.
The Jets may be better than they were last year, but nearly every team in the AFC is too. Relying on rookies to gel together, a QB to improve, and a defense to improve, is too much of an ask. Decades of dysfunction is not overcome in a season.
The Jets will remain a joke another season and may very likely have a new QB and coach (again) next season.